Mountains of Hope (MOH), West Virginia’s comprehensive cancer coalition with representatives from throughout the state, requested that Governor Jim Justice recognize November as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
The Lung Cancer Proclamation states:
Whereas Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in West Virginia; and
Whereas new lung cancer screening is available for men and women age 55 to 80 years old who are or have a history of smoking can detect cancer early when it is easier to treat and cure, and
Whereas awareness, early detection, and treatment are crucial in the prevention and the slowing of lung cancer; and
Whereas through public awareness, The State of West Virginia seeks to minimize the devastating effects lung cancer has on all West Virginia citizens.
Now, Therefore be it resolved that I, Jim Justice, Governor of the Great State of West Virginia proclaim November 2018 as; Lung Cancer Awareness Month
During the month of November in the Mountain State and encourage all citizens to increase awareness of the risk factors, screening options, and treatment of lung cancer and to offer compassion to those afflicted by this serious disease.
Why we need this proclamation:
- Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in West Virginia.
- Lung cancer screening, a low-dose computed tomography scan (LDCT), can detect cancer early when it is easier to treat and cure. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer with LDCT in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
- Smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer and WV has high rates of smoking.
Early detection of cancer saves lives. It also saves money for patients and health systems and improves the quality of life for survivors and their families. Millions have benefitted from the early detection of breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer and stand as a living testament to the power of early detection. Now West Virginia has the power to deal a devastating blow to a disease that kills more people than any other type of cancer in WV – LUNG CANCER.
In the past, the inability to detect lung cancer early was one of the contributing factors as to why it was so deadly. Now there is a simple low-dose CT scan that can detect lung cancer early when it is most treatable.
Smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer and West Virginia (WV) has the highest smoking rate for adults in the nation. So the WV population, our mothers, fathers, children, and neighbors that are at the highest risk.
Currently, lung cancer screening is recommended for those who are between the ages of 55-80, have a smoking history of 30 pack years or more (an average of one pack a day for 30 years, two packs a day for 15 years, etc.), and are current smokers or have quit in the past 15 years. Those who have been exposed to smoke at home or at work but are not smokers themselves should talk to a health care provider about their personal risks, medical history, and screening needs.
You can help save lives. The White Button Pledge is a commitment to the future of West Virginia. A commitment to button up our sleeves and get to work.
A commitment to:
- Embrace the opportunity to save lives
- Provide education about the benefits of lung cancer screening
- Ensure access to all (through insurance coverage and access to screening opportunities)
- Support continued research
- Optimize the impact of this new technology
- Promote smoking cessation
- Give hope to a new generation.